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Data from: Empirical evidence that large marine predator foraging behavior is consistent with area-restricted search theory

Citation

Bailey, Helen et al. (2019), Data from: Empirical evidence that large marine predator foraging behavior is consistent with area-restricted search theory, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.bb48rf0

Abstract

When prey is patchily distributed, predators are expected to spend more time searching for food in proximity of recent prey captures before searching in other areas. This behavior, known as area-restricted search, results in predators remaining localized in areas where prey had been detected previously because of the higher probability of encountering additional prey. However, few studies have tested these predictions on marine species because of the difficulties of observing feeding behavior. In this study, we utilized passive acoustic detections of echolocating dolphins to identify foraging behavior. C-PODs (click train detectors) were deployed for two years with an acoustic recorder attached to the same mooring during the second year. The time series of feeding buzzes, indicative of foraging behavior, revealed that both bottlenose (Tursiops truncatus) and common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were more likely to stay in the area longer when foraging activity was high at the beginning of the encounter. The probability of foraging was also higher following previous foraging activity. This suggests that dolphins were feeding on spatially patchy prey and previous foraging experience influenced their movement behavior. This is consistent with the predictions of area-restricted search behavior, a nonrandom foraging strategy.

Usage Notes

Location

Northwest Atlantic Ocean